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Jimmy

Faithless - a Heretic hub [FINAL]

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Posted (edited)

So when you speedmapping four more episodes for a complete set? And will you be able to get four -less names for them? :p

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If I come up with any more ideas for followup episodes I might do - I know the final map sets up potential for a sequel - but I strongly suspect I'll go back to mapping for Doom (and the usual Boom format) after this.

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Hmmm, I'm SO used to it I completely forgot I even had discord ooen in the background lmao! And on my phone... sometimes it goes into a 'volley' of notifications in general which I notice mainly because it redices the volume of everything else.

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7 hours ago, ShadesMaster said:

 

I play through the first half roughly. Pretty cool, not sure where to go after but I stopped because I haveta take a nap b4 work, so perfect timing I guess? Anywho Part II should be the rest of it and I'll do that in the not-too-distant future. :) Good work so far!

i kept checking my discord to see if i got messages lol..

 

anyway it's nice to see some love for heretic, i hope you're doing well, jimmy!

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OK i finished this wad!
First of all i finished this playing with The Wayfarers tome so i can't really say anything about the balance but generally this was pretty awesome :D

I really like the whole "inbetween Heretic and Hexen" theme with the textures and new monsters and with the hub style.
You did a really good job with the atmosphere in such a short amount of time :)
Now what i didn't like was the Phoenix Rod being non-existent >:( (is it in the secret map or something? Couldn't find one anywhere)
I also found some new items (thegasbag egg and the slow health regeneration potion) to be pretty useless
Taht'sall i have to say reallym generally it's :ok_hand:

 

Also weird stuff:

Spoiler

Screenshot_Heretic_20190422_003127.png.fb9c064c05234b9bb041e61b5eeb7473.png
 

I thought these were windows :'')

 

Screenshot_Heretic_20190422_141903.png.384a8935491054e659a7d28093482b4b.png

 

Where the evil cubes come from in the final map, this is in the other opening too :O

 

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Thanks! Don't know how the hell those textures got removed in E1M8. I'll do something about those doors too, another tester raised a concern about those.

 

The Noxious Spore is pretty good if you want to block enemies or cause some infighting. The pod that spawns has much lower health so it can be detonated with a couple of wand shots. Just don't use it too close to an attacking monster.

 

The Elixir Vitae is useful through sustained fights - it heals 5 health per second for 10 seconds. The regeneration effect persists even after 100 health is reached, so it can be used even while you're at full health.

 

The Phoenix Rod:

 

Spoiler

is indeed accessed through the secret level. Check out the walkthrough text file for how to get it.

 

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The bars that @SOSU mentioned above really tripped my up for a while too. I didn't expect them to be doors, so I was lost for a while trying to figure out where to go before just trying to open one of them for the hell of it. Imagine my surprise when it actually opened. ;)

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I think what I'll do is make those doors all open at once with the switch that's in that room, maybe have a few extra monsters pour out of them.

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Here's an FDA if you're interested. I died ~40 minutes in, on my first visit to the Kingdom of Roots. Fell off a wooden platform and broke my neck in the murky bog. I quit after that, though I may try again later with Wayfarer's Tome. You nailed the atmosphere and the levels' non-linear, exploratory designs and architecture were fantastic, as was (most) of the expanded bestiary. I gave up cause I'm just generally not a fan of Heretic's combat - it feels rather grindy and the on-the-fly inventory management is a bit much for me.

 

A few gripes: 1) I felt like there was too little ammo which combined with the fact that enemies spawn every time you return to an area (which was often since I kept running around looking for switches) was kinda off-putting and dissuaded me from going back and exploring further. 2) The stalkers, dear lord the stalkers. Probably my least favorite monsters from Hexen. They kept popping up in the middle of fights, jumpscaring me and blocking the path. Gah. 3) The aforementioned doors got me confused too :p

 

Still, you've done an awesome job and it's insane considering the timespan this was built in. It's just not for me :) But really cool nonetheless. I'm glad people are making more maps for Heretic now.

fda_faithless_vyre.zip

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jimmy,

 

very fine Map/Hub.

I tried to play it the second time with "Brutal Heretic RPG", with this Mod there are some progression bugs dedicated to the keys:

In the first try the red key does not open the red door in skill Level 3 (Brutal Heretic loaded after your HUB).

If I load Brutal Heretic before your HUB (tried skill 4) I can't open the yellow door after grabbing the yellow key.

 

Perhaps Brutal Heretic RPG handles keys in an other way ... :-(

 

I also spoted a litte bug in the Hub Level:

 

You can go to the Dread Gardens without the yellow key/bell-shooting because the switch in the pillar (in front of the bars lowered with the bell) is a accessible.

Edited by dead

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Finished. The last battle was pretty easy when you knew the lay of the land. I just flew up to the lich and stunlocked it with the Tomed Phoenix rod and a ring of invulnerability (I had plenty of both rings and tomes by this time). Wham bam thank you mam.

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@dead Can't really test or fix this on my end - don't think so anyway. You might be able to mess with the LOCKDEFS lump. It's possible only Lock 4 (the red key lock) needs to be defined, as the other locks in the lump are already present in gzdoom.pk3 and therefore are usually overwritten by whatever mod you're loading, so there's a conflict going on.

 

I think it should go without saying though that I didn't make this set with mods in mind, so everything and anything can and will break.

 

The Dread Gardens are meant to be accessible from the very start. You can't explore them, but you can get an Elixir and a crossbow immediately out of visiting that map first.

 

@Vyre Thanks for playing! I'll try and check out your FDA if it works for me. Sorry if Heretic's not your cup of tea, I myself do think its combat pales in comparison to Doom. I imagine you'll enjoy it slightly more with Wayfarer's Tome - hopefully it works for you in conjunction with the maps as well. Again though, no absolute guarantees of mod support!

 

@kristus Could've cheesed it even more if I hadn't patched out the ability to chicken-ify the boss lich just before release. :P

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That was great and I hope you'll make a sequel or two.

 

I found one little bug in the last level, because I care too much about completing each level with 100% everywhere, and a monster was missing after killing the boss and its horde of lackeys:

Spoiler

ianQMov.png

Turns out it's in the void.

 

Also the texture issue already mentioned by SOSU here.

 

The empty secret room in Dread Gardens is weird.

Spoiler

My working assumption had been that you had to get the Wings of Wrath to go there, and that's what I ended up doing once I found them; I went back there and used them to reach the missing secret... And there was nothing in it. Afterward, looking in a map editor, I found how you're supposed to get there and it's really not intuitive in the slightest, just some wall humping.

 

There are not enough emerald amulets for the poison root level imo. I think there are only two in total.

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Thanks for playing! You're right about the Gardens secret, but this was just taken care of and will be fixed in RC2. Same with the stuck Guardian Cube in M8.

 

Will add a couple more amulets.

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I never used the boots of the north or whatever they were called. I had them, but I didn't know what they were for and I didn't find another pair so I never used them at all. 

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Posted (edited)

They activate automatically and stay in your inventory until you leave the Breathless Wastes. They provide a significant resistance to ice damage, so the ice stalkers and ice liches across the map become less of a problem, and the final fight in the phoenix cave becomes a little easier.

 

For the next RC I've made it a bit easier to reach them straight away, as well as making them more useful. (I've boosted their ice resistance from 50% to 75%.)

Edited by Jimmy

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing my first time with heretic not played the original levels yet but an enjoyable time spent on this also good job with the walkthrough i needed to look at it once or twice.

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Oh well, so I found out Jimmy is not only a great music composer, but he really excels in mapping as well! I always liked everything made by Jimmy so I could expect only the best from this, and it indeed happened.

Heretic is the game I'm primarily interested in, so I'm very happy about any Heretic project. This one is combined with Hexen and uses Hexen-like hub system, puzzle elements, and plenty of new stuff like monsters, items, and the red key I was always thinking about as a kid. A very nice refreshment from Vanilla-only projects! I don't say Vanilla-compatible projects are bad or boring, but I always appreciate and enjoy some additional stuff to have fun with.

Here are a few notes from my side:

- I was somehow expecting that there would be some new original music composed by Jimmy himself. Was looking forward to hear some Heretic-themed compositions from him. That did not happen, but I realized composing new music within very limited time would not be feasible. But on the other hand, the used music tracks are fitting the levels and atmosphere, so I'm happy with it after all. Still, I'm curious whether Jimmy has composed anything specifically for Heretic.

- The music playing in the swampy level reminded me of Legend of Kyrandia a lot. I was not surprised when I checked credits and there was mentioned music from Frank Klepacki.

- It was not as much challenging as I expected. I played at 4th difficulty (Satanist) which I suppose is meant to be equivalent to ultra-violence. However, I died just a few times, mostly by some hazard (i.e. long-fall traps) than ever being killed in a battle. There were much more than enough healing items and other artifacts, so that I was never short of health, ammo, or anything. I did not use many items, like the rings of invicibility at all, or beat final boss battle without phoenix rod.

- I liked the secrets. I Found a way to secret level after beating the final level, I need to tap space on every single wall in the swampy level to find a way to get that inaccessible puzzle item.

- I liked the item for spawning those explosive green balls. Was fun to spawn one and blast group of monsters.

- I also did not understand the purpose of those boots in ice level. When I picked them up they did not appear in my inventory so I assumed it was some bug or they simply did not do anything. There was no indication there was some effect active, like turning your screen to some shade of color. I Found them after beating all the level.

 

Again, thanks a lot for this. You could do more stuff like this.

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Posted (edited)

This was fun to explore, and well constructed. I especially liked the theming, a mix of elemental worlds and concrete settings geared around certain concepts.     

 

e1m6 and e1m8 are unnecessarily grindy, imo.

 

- e1m6 is full of cramped spaces and narrow thresholds, and while I can see hints of the 'trial of snares' approach suitable for such a layout, a lot of the map's total HP is placed in front of you behind doorways. The drop into the mask-retrieval section was the highlight of this one.

 

- e1m8's 2nd and 3rd prelude fights give you lots of iron liches, and even a maulotaur tossed in, but it all felt like too much considering the campable layout at that stage. The 1st fight was my favorite. 

Edited by rdwpa

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Posted (edited)
On 4/22/2019 at 11:19 AM, Jimmy said:

If I come up with any more ideas for followup episodes I might do

Pretty please :) That was such a delightful surprise to play: not just a heretic mapset, but a full on exploration focused adventure devoid of syndrom of being stuck on unfindable switch or item, although i still couldn't have find the statue face and last secret with a ring behind the bushes in the garden. The additional items/monsters made the game so much more interesting (little spores especially), but combat itself were only as dynamic as it could be - i believe arsenal in heretic is not as viable of being a toolkit as a Doom arsenal (not many games manage to force you using a specific weapons in specific situations).

Couple of notes regarding resource balance (played on "satanist" difficulty):

-By the middle of exploring Kingdom of Roots ammo was depleted completely and gauntles became of use; a couple of arrows and time bombs had to be used strategically to progress.

-By the end of Savaged lands and forth, resources became overabundant to the point where i had switch frequently to make use of the most laying around.
-After Savaged lands health became much less of a problem too; running with full stack of flasks on top of 3-4 urnes most of the time.

I'd say ammo deprived gameplay is very engaging and makes exploration so much more interesting, perhaps latter levels could use more enemies or less quivers and big runes.

 

Overall, not being a huge heretic fan, that was very enjoyable thanks to the easy to navigate/easy to remember layouts and focus on exploration.
 

Edited by JDR

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@Hisymak Glad you liked it! Part of the joy of MIDI music for me is stumbling on MIDI soundtracks from old 90s videogames that actually inspire me to make new Doom content. In this case it was Lands of Lore's music, a lot of which fits Heretic like a glove - although the game is pretty full of tiny filler tracks or tracks that don't really center on anything and so are hard to use. It was tough to make the selections I did in the end, but I think they work pretty well! And you said it yourself - as much as I'd love to emulate Schilder some more, I elected not to compose new stuff for this set just because I wanted it done in a certain time constraint.

 

I would now urge you to play on Anti-Christ difficulty for perhaps the "real" challenge this set offers. ;) Might still be imbalanced as heck, of course - but may be more fun, just by way of it being much harder by default. A lot of my maps seem to be really breezy to many - which I must stress isn't always my intent - but the game's difficulty is always configurable and by all means you can play on the highest difficulty (which in Heretic lacks the respawning monsters of Doom's "Nightmare!"), or just second-highest with -fast if you like. There's currently only a couple extra monsters in the entire campaign on skill 5, so I'll probably see about balancing it for this skill a whole bunch more.

 

@rdwpa Cheers for trying this out! What would you suggest for M6 and M8? Just fewer monsters? Fewer doors? Or is there perhaps a way through refining the thing placement that I can make the combat a little more engaging? (Ovums are always pretty fun to use.)

 

@JDR Thanks for playing! I'll take a look at the health/ammo balance and will be releasing a more polished and balanced version in the form of RC2 pretty soon. (I have a feeling one of the problems is the Heretic monsters' ammo drops being far too generous - you get 20 hellstaff ammo randomly from sabreclaws! The weapon only has a max of 200! You can therefore be maxed out for that weapon ages before you ever get it, at least here.)

 

On the subject of secrets, stay tuned, as RC2 will include a rundown of the secrets in the walkthrough file, as well as a SECRETS lump so you can check in-game where secrets are located and how to reach them. A GZDoom feature I see seldom used!

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Love the mapset! Played in the same breath, did not have time to consider all the beauty levels, quickly ended, I'll be back to go again to find the secret level:)

My english is bad, Sorry

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Nice. :D Sounds like while the experience was short, it was fun at least. :P Hope you enjoy the secret map, it's probably my favorite of the bunch, personally.

 

If you need help getting to it check out the walkthrough!

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This is wonderful, Jimmy. It's the perfect marriage of Heretic and Hexen: mostly Heretic and about 10% of Hexen because the rest of Hexen sucks anyway. The hub design is super interesting to see in Heretic. There's a little bit of Where the Heck Do I Go? but it usually only lasts for a minute or two. Navigating the world feels like satisfying exploration and discovery rather than aimless switch-hunting.

 

Not a fan of the instant kills, though. Especially the one dark room in Unlit Serenity where I lost all my progress because I figured I'd explore a little and thought there might be some secret if you could navigate the darkness. Nope, just death. Also, are you supposed to be able to one-shot the boss? I tomed myself up the moment I realized I was in the final battle and two seconds later the boss was dead from powered mace spheres.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

 

@rdwpa Cheers for trying this out! What would you suggest for M6 and M8? Just fewer monsters? Fewer doors? Or is there perhaps a way through refining the thing placement that I can make the combat a little more engaging? (Ovums are always pretty fun to use.)

 

A lot might work; I worry about being too prescriptive. The feeling of meatiness on these maps was accumulative, so I think a reduction of monster count anywhere in these maps (outside of your favorite encounters) would help the experience as a whole. 

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My playthrough (medium difficulty):

 

 

I liked the varied sceneries, my favorites being Kingdom of Roots and Savaged Lands.

 

Some explanation what the new items do would be nice (even if it's only in the readme of the final release). There only being 2 rad suite amulets wasn't a problem for me, in fact I only used one (and after that just ran through the nukage taking the damage), but maybe it's different on higher difficulties.

 

I too didn't realize that the wood doors with bars were door, but I found them quickly due to my habit to just hump random walls.

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@boris Thanks a ton for the video! It killed me that you didn't find the secret level, you got so close to unlocking the secret portal to it. Nasty death to the wizards in the Root Kingdom! I could see you getting frustrated at the green key portcullis, so maybe I'll move those green key marker pillars to behind it, rather than in front of it. The first two dungeon puzzles gave you a bit of hassle, clearly! I'm wondering if I should make the switch in the firewalk puzzle a bit brighter, and maybe make the combo confirmation switch only accessible when the three pillars are down, which should mitigate other players wandering into certain death. You also used barely any of your items and got quite a stockpile by the end of E1M8 - I definitely shouldn't provide quite so many flasks on the medium or easy difficulties, the gameplay is frankly trivial otherwise. Still, looks like you had fun, and beat the whole thing in just under 2 hours - that's about as long as it takes me on hard difficulty. :P

 

@Ryath Cheers! I must admit, after having played all of Heretic and Hexen the whole way through and taken in everything their levels did design-wise, there was a bit of a spiteful motivation to just simply do everything they did but better. :P

 

I've gone and tweaked E1M6's dark corridor a bit so it's no longer an instant death if you so much as tiptoe into it - but you'll still die if you go too far. A textual warning has also been added if you blunder in without a torch at the very least. Also thanks for spotting the issue with the boss, he's now been given the +BOSS flag so he's no longer instantly squashable via powered firemace. Whoopsie!

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

It killed me that you didn't find the secret level, you got so close to unlocking the secret portal to it.

It's always baffling to see how unobservant players are. Most things without a blinking neon sign are likely to be missed. In retrospect the different texture is so obvious, but when playing I simple didn't notice it.

 

6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

I could see you getting frustrated at the green key portcullis, so maybe I'll move those green key marker pillars to behind it, rather than in front of it.

Yes! I was literally "cool, got the green key, now on to the green door!", just to still be blocked from it. I mean, the portcullis does not say that it requires the green key, but it was still unintuitive.

 

6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

I'm wondering if I should make the switch in the firewalk puzzle a bit brighter

I didn't miss it, I'm just not pressing every switch ASAP. And there's no indication that you'll die a horrible death if you want walk into the hallway. What actually threw me off more was that 2/3 of the width was a safe spot, especially since brightness feels more save than darkness. On the way back it's a bit hard to see where the safe spot at the end is, with all the projectiles flying around. I imagine it's even worse on lower resolutions.

 

6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

and maybe make the combo confirmation switch only accessible when the three pillars are down, which should mitigate other players wandering into certain death.

Yes, that's a good idea. Again, there's no indication that you'll insta-die if you do something wrong.

 

6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

You also used barely any of your items and got quite a stockpile by the end of E1M8 - I definitely shouldn't provide quite so many flasks on the medium or easy difficulties, the gameplay is frankly trivial otherwise.

I tend to forget about the inventory and if I think of it, I usually refrain to use the more rare and powerful items, since there might be a situation where I could use it more, resulting in me not using them at all.

Balancing health is always pretty tricky. I see myself as an average player (hence me playing on the medium difficulty), and I also play rather carefully. But yeah, there was plenty of health. There were several flasks I couldn't pick up because I already reached the max amount, and on top of that I had 5 Mystic Urns I didn't touch. An option could be to remove some crystal vials. I don't think anybody would want to chase crystal vials through the whole hub when low on health and out of flasks.

 

6 hours ago, Jimmy said:

Still, looks like you had fun

I did! Nowadays it's pretty rare for me to play id1 stuff for so "long" without taking a break, but Failthless just hit my weak spot. It's engaging, fresh, and good looking without abusing the curve line tool.

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Posted (edited)

Guys, how I can obtain the red key on Skill level 4? It's beyond chasm in E1M4 on this skill level, instead of mega-armor. It seems there is a script to flood the chasm (sector 180) but I can't find any switch to trigger it. Is it in some other map?

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